Humor Fiction posted March 6, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
Drawing back the curtain


by Mark Valentine

In response to a recent post, a few reviewers were kind enough to let me know that global warming wasn’t real – who knew? This got me to investigating what other things we take for granted based on “science” or “facts” might in fact, turn out to be hoaxes. You’ll be shocked to learn what I discovered. I won’t bother with the low-hanging fruit, your staged moon landings, or your chupacabras. Neither will I simply repeat what others before me have already debunked. Donald Trump, for example, has already offered proof that Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim, so we needn’t re-cover that ground. (Okay, maybe he hasn’t actually “offered” the proof, but he said he had it, and that’s good enough for me).

No, this is brand new debunking. Until now, all of these things have been bunked. Brace yourselves. Here they are:

  1. Sociology – This is not a real thing. If your son or daughter tells you that he/she is majoring in sociology, you should stop payment on the tuition check immediately. Most likely they are going to lots of frat parties and sleeping in late. And sociology is only the tip of the university iceberg. Other made-up majors include “Gender Studies”, “Business”, and “Art History”. One university which shall remain nameless (okay, it’s Brown) consists entirely of made up courses. As an aside, who names a university after a color? You can invent entire curricula, but you can’t come up with a better name for your school than Brown? Speaking of colors, that brings us to…
  1. Cerulean – I know, such a cool word, right? We writers love it. “As Milicent ambled long beneath the clear cerulean sky, she caught sight of Lord Bumblesworth ambling from the other direction and thought maybe, just maybe, she could learn how to love again.” Problem is, there is no such color. In 1963, the Crayola people were in need of a sixty-forth color to complete their box. After months of fruitless experimentation, a frustrated executive finally said, “Screw it, make two light blues and call one of them “cerulean”. The name was taken from the Latin Ceruleare, which means “No, really, it’s true!”

  1. Australia – When my kids were little, they would hear their friends talking about going apple-picking in Michigan, and they wanted to do that too. Given that a) Michigan is about an hour and a half drive from our home, b) Indiana is 25 minutes, and c) our kids were stupid, we decided to go to the apple orchards in Indiana and tell them it was Michigan. Turns out the English had a similar idea centuries before. They would tell criminals that they were being banished to a far-away island called Australia (from the Greek Austrlikis, meaning “cerulean”). “Don’t try to escape and come back, because Australia is all the way on the other side of the world”, they would tell them. They would then sail around the Atlantic for a few days before dropping them off in Portugal.
Soon, writers (it’s always writers, isn’t it?) began fleshing out the fantasy, inventing exotic animals like koala bears and phrases like “G’day mate”. The Looney Toons people soon got into the act creating spin-offs such as Tasmania and New Zealand as homes for their new creations, the Tasmanian Devil, and Kiwi Kyle, the Funny-Looking Bird. While Kiwi Kyle, would eventually be replaced by The Road Runner in the Looney Tunes catalogue, the idea was not abandoned and morphed into “New Zealand’s” national symbol, the Kiwi bird.
It was around this time, that a singer named Rolf Harris recorded a novelty record about this mythical land. “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” went platinum, causing enterprising entrepreneurs to recognize the financial potential of “The Land Down Under”. Thus, businesses such as Outback Steakhouse, and Qantas Airlines were born. I know what some of you are thinking: “But I’ve visited Australia”, or maybe even “I live in Australia”. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you visited/live in Portugal. Wake up and smell the caldo verde people.

  1. Golf – I could get in trouble for telling you ladies this, but my gender made this one up. The place was Scotland. The year was 1457:
HUSBAND: “Honey, I’m going out with the guys to play golf”.

WIFE: What’s that?

HUSBAND: It’s a game where you hit a small ball into a hole.

WIFE: You’re kidding, right?

HUSBAND: No, really, it’s quite challenging and entertaining.

WIFE: You’ll be back in time to shear the sheep though right?

HUSBAND: Probably not, golf takes a really long time, like 5 or 6 hours.

WIFE: Well, can’t you leave early?

HUSBAND: No, that’s against the rules. Ewan MacGregor left early once and they sent him to Australia.

I‘ll leave it there for now and give you time to digest. I’m still looking into the Kardashians, the War of 1812, and gravity. I’ll let you know what I find out.


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